LANDSLIDE

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Protector of Subterranea

Group Membership: Outcasts (Boulder, Digger, Water Witch)

Affiliations: Kala, Mole Man (Harvey Elder), Moloid Subterraneans, the Mole Man's mutates, non-powered Outcasts, residents of Clairton (Sid Bennet, Brandy Clark, Jonathan Clark, Sarah Clark, Hawkins, Steve Jackson, Annie Jones, Daniel Jones, Lorraine Jones, Tammy Jones, Silas Lane, Piney Plum, Reverend Walker Smith, Doctor John Stennis, Torpedo/Brock Jones, others), Rom, Starshine (Landra)

Enemies: Avalanche (Dominic Petros), Deviants, other Subterranean races (Gor-Tokians, Lava Men, Tyrannoids);
    formerly, Kala, Maria Karsov, Robby Kyle, Claude LeBron, Brad Rossi, Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Skinny" (Avalanche's nickname)

Base of Operations: Subterranea

First Appearance: Marvel Treasury Edition#25 (1980) (see comments)

Powers/Abilities: Landslide can cause intense vibrations and tremors in anything, animate or inanimate, that he touches. He can cause earthquake-level tremors, or cause injury to a living thing on contact. He is limited by his need to directly touch an object, and he cannot project his power across a distance. As a consequence of living in dimly lit Subterranea, Landslide's eyes are extremely sensitive to bright light, and he wears a light-filtering hood when on the surface world.

Height: 6'1" (by approximation)
Weight: 135 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black

History:
(Fantastic Four Annual I#13 - BTS) - The Mole Man gathered a group of people considered homely on the surface world to dwell with him in Subterranea, as the Outcasts.

(Incredible Hulk II#263 (fb) - BTS) - One of these was a tall, skinny man who hoped to escape the evils of the surface world.

(Incredible Hulk II#263(fb)) - Through unrevealed means Mole Man gave some of them superhuman powers. Gaining the power to move the earth itself with only the slightest touch, the thin man took the name Landslide.

(Rom#28 (fb) - BTS) - Landslide was a pacifist, preferring to avoid fighting if at all possible.

(Marvel Treasury Edition#25 (fb) - BTS) - Along with three other superpowered Outcasts, Boulder, Digger and Water Witch, he became Subterranea's defender, protecting it and its people from any who would endanger the underground realm.

   Kala, mistress of the Netherworld, joined forces with the Lava Men and began to war against the armies of the Mole Man, in an effort to force him to allow her to have access to the Fountain of Youth. The Mole Man, still angry at Kala for her previous betrayal of him, refused her. Kala sought to improve her chances against the Mole Man by abducting four athletes from the 1980 (topical) Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, and outfitting them with various advanced weaponry based upon their sports of expertise. Intending to thwart this plan, Mole Man sent the Outcasts to kidnap the athletes first for their own protection. With two athletes (French bobsledder Claude LeBron and Canadian hockey champ Bobby Kyle) already taken by Kala, the Outcasts went after the next target, Russian figure-skater Maria Karsov, snatching her while she was training late at night, but as they fled the Olympic village past the press dormitories her cries for help were heard by Spider-Man, attending in his civilian guise as photographer Peter Parker.

(Marvel Treasury Edition#25) - Even as Landslide was telling Digger to keep their captive quiet, Spider-Man swung down to her rescue. Spotting him incoming, Water Witch alerted the others in time to dodge, but doing so caused Digger to drop his struggling prisoner. Pointing out that to recapture her they need only overpower a single opponent, Landslide triggered a shockwave that sent a mini avalanche at Spider-Man, but the agile her easily evaded it. The hero dealt with Digger and Boulder's attempts to bring him down with equal aplomb, but Water Wizard engulfed Spider-Man in a water geyser, then instantly froze it to trap him. Aware the sounds of the battle might have alerted others, Landslide ordered the others to get Karsov, who had fled only a short distance, but unable to speak English she couldn't understand them when they tried to tell her they were only trying to help her. Breaking free of his ice prison, Spider-Man leapt between the Outcasts and Karsov, but before he could do anything a giant glowing gem (one of Kala's "diamonds of doom") appeared around the Russian and vanished into the ground with her. Landslide worried how they would explain their failure to the Mole Man, and Digger suggested they could bring Spider-Man with them to prove their story. Before they could attempt this the nearby stadium's lights were switched on as security, alerted by the noise, sought to light up the village. The bright illumination was agony for the Outcasts, who beat a hasty retreat.

   The next morning the Outcasts headed to the surface again intending to prevent the abduction of ski-jumper Brad Rossi, but arrived only in time to see him being taken by another of Kala's gems. Spotting Spider-Man about to make a futile attempt to rescue Brad (the gem was already almost completely submerged), the Outcasts decided to take him to the Mole Man, hoping their master could convince him to help their cause. This time the Outcasts worked in concert to capture their opponent; Water Witch again snared him in ice, Landslide then unbalanced him with a shockwave so that he fell backwards into Digger's arms, to be held still long enough for Boulder to knock him unconscious. They took their captive to Subterranea, but only moments after he woke and Mole Man had begun explaining the situation they were alerted that Kala had launched her attack. Mole Man dispatched the Outcasts and an army of Moloids to defend Subterranea, then in their absence forced the still unwilling Spider-Man's cooperation by threatening to destroy the Olympic village.

   The Outcasts battled the invading Lava Men at a bridge over a chasm separating the two rival underground kingdoms, but even backed by the Moloids the enemy's numbers were too much, and the Outcasts began to be forced back, and sent word to the Mole Man that they needed help or their cause would be lost. Under his direction the Outcasts managed to capture one of Kala's communication stations, and the Mole Man contacted his rival ruler and proposed that rather than decimate both their realms with an all out war they settle the conflict with a contest of champion, held on the surface to avoid damaging Subterranea any further. Kala accepted, confident of victory because she had secretly recruited the Hulk to aid her, and the Mole Man raised the Olympic village into the air, supported on vast pylons, and surrounded it with a force field, so it could serve as the arena. The Outcasts faced off against the four kidnapped athletes, coerced through threats against another hostage Kala was holding into fighting for the underground despot, and now armed with high tech devices she had supplied, while the Hulk took on Spider-Man. Landslide was pitted against Brad Rossi, now using jet-powered skies, tasked with stopping him reach the bottom of his ski slope, but despite raising a small mountain of snow in Rossi's path the skier easily got past the mound. Meanwhile the other matches ended with two wins apiece to both sides, making Landslide's contest the tie-breaker. The Outcast triggered an avalanche, but Brad was able to stop it with his ski poles, enhanced by Kala to fire energy blasts, and so he won the contest. The victory proved moot however, as Spider-Man's battle with the Hulk triggered another avalanche shattered Kala's protective helmet. Without it, exposure to the surface air caused her to age rapidly, and the Lava Men no longer recognized her. Without the Lava Men, she was no match for the Mole Man's forces, but the Mole Man still loved her, so he called a truce to the war, and took Kala to Subterranea to live with him.

 (Incredible Hulk II#263(fb)) - The mutant Avalanche, who possessed similar earth-moving powers to Landslide, decided to blackmail California by threatening to trigger a massive earthquake along the San Andreas Fault, and for a few days caused smaller tremors around the Los Angeles area to prove his threat was valid. Sensing the unnatural seismic disturbance down in Subterranea, Landslide volunteered to go the surface and stop whoever was doing this, as their actions threatened the Mole Man's kingdom too. As he made his way to the surface near the Santa Monica Freeway, luminescent phosphors clung to him, causing him to glow brightly when he emerged.

(Incredible Hulk II#263) - Chancing to be nearby and having been caught in one of the tremors, the Hulk spotted the glowing figure. Intrigued, he followed, vaguely recalling that he had seen the figure moving the ground at some prior time, but unable to recall where. Following the tremors, Landslide found Avalanche in the middle of attacking Los Angeles Airport. Initially the mutant laughed off the skinny man's warning to stop his destructive actions, until Landslide used his powers, throwing Avalanche off his feet and shocking him that someone had powers like his own. As Landslide explained who he was, Avalanche retaliated and tried to bury Landslide with a literal wave of tarmac, but Landslide shattered it with a touch. Watching their fight, the Hulk decided it was none of his business, and was about to depart when he spotted his two friends Betty Ross and Rick Jones among the air passengers Avalanche had injured prior to Landslide's arrival. Enraged, the Hulk pounded the ground demanding the two earth-movers stop fighting, causing a shockwave that threw both men off their feet. In response Avalanche attacked the Hulk, destroying the runway and thus inadvertently nearly causing a landing jetliner to crash. Witnessing Avalanche's glee at his "achievement," Landslide declared him sick and resumed his assault on Avalanche. Realizing Landslide's eyes were probably light sensitive if he lived underground, Avalanche knocked Landslide off his feet by opening a chasm under him, giving Avalanche time to close the distance between them and rip Landslide's mask off. Gloating, Avalanche held Landslide down until the blindly flailing Subterranean touched Avalanche's face, pointing out that he could trigger vibrations in living creatures as well as inanimate rock. Avalanche staggered back in agony, releasing his foe, who began scrabbling around on the ground trying to locate his hood. Angry at being hurt, Avalanche stepped out of reach and took aim at Landslide, pointing out that unlike the Subterranean he didn't need to touch his targets, and promising to pound Landslide's bones to pulp. Before he could do so however, the Hulk intervened, picking up Avalanche and throwing him across the airport. Landslide watched (as best he could in the airport lights when he didn't have his mask) as Hulk defeated Avalanche, and as the Hulk then leapt away, Landslide turned and returned to Subterranea.

(Rom#28 (fb) - BTS) - The Dire Wraiths, shapeshifting alien invaders, took over the West Virginian town of Clairton to set a trap for their enemy, the Galadorian Spaceknight Rom. Impersonating the locals, they imprisoned the real townspeople in Clairton's abandoned mines, where they were discovered and freed by the Mole Man. Convinced by the Clairtoners that the Wraiths were a threat to not only the surface world but also Subterranea, the Mole Man agreed to help the Clairtoners take back their town, using his forces, including the Outcasts, to eliminate the Wraiths one by one by dragging them down below the surface and overpowering them. When Rom returned to Clairton, accompanied by fellow Spaceknight Starshine, they were fooled by the disguised Wraiths and headed into the mines to investigate.

(Rom#28) - Following some fleeing Moloids the two Spaceknights entered a cavern to be confronted by the Mole Man and the Outcasts. While Rom scanned the Outcasts and confirmed they were not Wraiths, Mole Man, mistakenly believing the two newcomers were the alien invaders the Clairtoners had informed him about, ordered the Outcasts to attack. Despite his dislike of fighting, Landslide did as ordered, and tried to bring down the flying Starshine by triggering a controlled roof collapse above her, but the swift-moving Galadorian dodged the falling rocks, then blinded both Landslide and Water Witch with a blast of light from her eyes. Moments later the Clairtoners arrived in the cavern and stopped the fight, explaining to the Mole Man that the two Spaceknights were friends rather than foes. However, the last two Wraiths not captured by the Mole Man had covertly followed the Spaceknights into the tunnels, and in a final attempt to achieve their original goal of slaying Rom they opened fire, hitting Starshine when she jumped in the way of their blasts to defend Rom. After these final attackers were slain by Clairtoner Steve Jackson, Landslide and the other Subterraneans could only watch as Rom cradled the dying Starshine in his arms as she passed away.

(Rom#29) - Wanting a last look at the surface humans who the Subterraneans had befriended and aided against the Wraiths, Mole Man and the Outcasts surreptitiously visited the graveyard where Starshine's funeral was being held, then slipped back into the depths of the Earth, pondering whether this brief alliance marked an end of their feud with the surface world.

(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb) - BTS) - Despite his declarations of love for Kala, the Mole Man soon became distracted by his plans of conquest and relegated her, largely forgotten, to her own chambers, with the Outcasts ordered to protect her and to bring her back should she ever try to flee. Taking the attitude that orders were orders (see comments), they continued to do so even when the Deviant Brutus attacked the Mole Man's domain, forcing him to flee and forge an alliance with rival underground rulers Grotesk and Tyrannus. Seeking to bring aid for Mole Man, Kala escaped and headed to the surface to seek the aid of Iron Man, whom she had first encountered years before, and the Outcasts pursued.

(Iron Man Annual#12) - The Outcasts burst through the floor of Tony Stark's office at Stark International, where Kala was talking to Stark (Iron Man's alter ego). While Digger grabbed Kala, Landslide raised a wall of debris to stop incoming security guards, but Stark, having swiftly donned his Iron Man armor, came to Kala's rescue. He knocked Boulder out almost immediately, smashed through another debris blockade that Landslide raised up, and dislodged Digger when he leapt on his back. However, while Iron Man's attention was taken by the final Outcast, Water Witch, Digger and Landslide seized their chance and fled with Kala. As they carried her through the tunnels they had made, Landslide asked her why she had gone for help to the surface world, and not her own domain, the Netherworld, that she had once ruled prior to becoming involved with Mole Man. She explained that her subjects had driven her out, and mentioned that she had only begun hunting for the Fountain of Youth after this, as prior to this she had been immortal because the Netherworld projected a youth-giving aura. Upon hearing this Digger wondered if that aura would also make them immortal, an idea that also appealed to Landslide. Deciding that her former subjects might welcome her back if she came to them with two powerful allies, and that if they did she could use the Netherworld's armies to help Mole Man in his war, Kala agreed to lead Digger and Landslide to the Netherworld. However, upon their arrival the Netherworlders reminded Kala she had been exiled under penalty of death, and prepared to shoot all three intruders, until the pursuing Iron Man arrived. With the surface hero distracting the Netherworlders, Digger and Landslide joined the fight, the latter somewhat reluctantly as he feared burying everyone by using his powers so deep underground. Sure enough, his shockwave apparently triggered a fault, threatening to destroy all of the Netherworld until Iron Man managed to cancel out Landslide's tremors. Digger and a deeply regretful and ashamed Landslide slipped away quietly, presumably intending to return to the Mole Man's domain.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant, Herb Trimpe and Bruce Patterson.

   The non-powered version of Landslide may have been present off-panel among the Outcasts first seen in Fantastic Four Annual#13.

   Landslide and particularly Digger come across as a lot less intelligent in Iron Man Annual#12 than they were in their prior appearances. While in reality this was probably due to it being the first time they were written by a different writer, in-universe it may be evidence of a mental decline caused either by whatever process empowered them, or some environmental factor in Subterranea.

   This profile was completed 09/21/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Landslide has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Marvel Treasury Edition#25, p2, pan1 (main image)
Incredible Hulk II#263, p21, pan3 (headshot)
Incredible Hulk II#263, p9, pan5 (using powers)
Rom#28, p16, pan1 (costume shot, green top, standing upright)


Appearances:
Marvel Treasury Edition#25 (1980) - Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant & Bill Mantlo (writers), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#263 (September, 1981) - Sal Buscema & Bill Mantlo (writers), Sal Buscema (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
Rom#28 (March, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Rom#29 (April, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Chic Stone, Mike Esposito, Frank Giacoia, Al Milgrom & Rick Magyar (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Iron Man Annual I#12 (1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), Tom Morgan (artist)


First Posted: 09/22/2021
Last updated: 09/21/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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